Benefits of a Vegetarian Lifestyle

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian and need that extra push, why not consider all the benefits your new lifestyle will bring? A longer lifespan, reduced risk of cancer and lower risk of heart disease are a few of the many perks our health can reap by ditching meat from our diet. Here are some of the most important health benefits a plant-based eating regime can produce.

A longer life

We all want to live for as long as possible. In fact,in a recent poll, immortality was named as one of the top superpowers people would love to have if they could. Now, although we can’t promise eating vegetables will give you superpowers and certainly not immortality, they can make you live longer. This isn’t just because vegetables and fruit are great for your health in general, animal proteins have been found to shorten your life. Therefore, vegetarians tend to live longer on the whole.

Another contributing factor which helps you live a longer life is that the antioxidants found in fruit and veg are known to help prevent cancer due to their ability to fight cancer-causing free radicals. Whereas some meat is actually thought to contribute to it. In fact, it’s thought that if all meat-eaters reduced their red meat intake, 10% of bowel cancer cases could’ve been prevented.

A huge killer across the world is heart disease with 600,000 people a year dying in the USA alone. Heart disease doesn’t often happen overnight and there will be several warning signs or amber lights before you have a heart attack. High cholesterol and blood pressure are two of these and eating a plant and grain-based diet helps reduce the risk of these considerably. Fruit and veg are naturally low in refined sugar, fat and sodium and therefore the opposite of the type of food which typically contributes to the development of high cholesterol and blood pressure. Nut and pulses are also high in potassium, which lessen the effects salt has on the body, thus also preventing high blood pressure.

Staying trim

It’s far easier to maintain a healthy weight and remain in control of your caloric intake when consuming a vegetarian diet. The majority of vegetarian food – fruit, veg, and pulses – are low in calories and therefore make it quite difficult to overindulge.  However, with other vegetarian food, such as pasta, rice and nuts, make sure to measure your portions as they tend to be higher in calories.

This article was provided by Melissa Sawyer.